Wednesday, July 29, 2009
McNair's estate not a problem
JACKSON, Miss. -- Even though he left no will, Steve McNair's entire immediate family has been provided for under instructions the slain former NFL quarterback left before his death, his agent said Wednesday.
McNair's wife, Mechelle, is not trying to exclude McNair's mother and two children he had with other women, his agent, James "Bus" Cook, told The Associated Press.
"He has taken very good care of all of the children, his wife and his mother," Cook said in a phone interview from Hattiesburg, Miss. "Every player -- every person -- I know would do well to provide for their family like he has. So everybody's going to be fine, everything's going to be good, and there's no disagreements between anybody."
McNair had two children -- Steven L. McNair Jr. and Steven O'Brian Koran McNair -- before marrying Mechelle McNair. The couple also had two children -- Tyler James McNair and Trenton Jon McNair.
Cook said reporters looking at Mechelle McNair's emergency petition may have been confused by the routine filing, but that she followed a judge's direction and Tennessee law when filling out the paperwork. McNair listed herself and her children as direct heirs, then listed the quarterback's other children elsewhere in the filing since the court had no immediate proof the children were legally Steve McNair's.
That proof -- a well-documented legal history in Mississippi -- has been supplied, Cook said. Steve McNair has been legally responsible for the children since he left college at Alcorn State and has far exceeded the court's instructions for support, Cook said.
"Mechelle's the only one that can contest it and she's not contesting it," Cook said.
Mechelle McNair has declined comment and an interview request through a publicist. She has not spoken publicly since McNair was killed July 4 by Sahel Kazemi, who shot him four times in what Nashville police say was a murder-suicide. But she has released a statement in which she expressed thanks for the outpouring of support and sympathy her family has received.
"Your prayers, kind deeds and outpouring of support throughout this difficult time have been of tremendous comfort to us," she said in the statement. "May you be richly blessed for all that you have done and continued to do. You are appreciated beyond measure."
Steve McNair had wills drafted two or three times before his death, but never signed them. But any will prior to the marriage would have been null and void under Tennessee law anyway, Cook said.
McNair left a large estate behind that's in probate in both Tennessee and Mississippi. He made at least $90 million in salary over his 13-year career with the Houston Oilers, Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens, plus any marketing deals he had. He had both business dealings and real estate holdings that must be divided.
The McNairs were selling their 26-room Nashville home in the upscale Green Hills neighborhood valued at $3.2 million at the time of his death. He was also president of McNair Farms Inc., in Mississippi, described as a ranching and farming business. He had other properties as well, including "The Ranch," the 647-acre farm and house near his boyhood home of Mount Olive in southern Mississippi.